1998 Ford Expedition Q&A

1998 Ford Expedition Question: Oil in the radiator

I have oil in the radiator, no water in the oil. Not a blown head gasket as most assume. The truck has never overheated, never runs hot for that matter. I replaced the radiator a few months(less than 1,000 miles ago) but for the life of me cannot figure out where the oil is getting in thru. Maybe the oil cooler line to the block? any idea besides a head gasket, thanks -
Answer 1
The oil filter adapter gasket has probably failed. This would be the gasket that seals the adapter to the engine block at the left front of the engine. The adapter is the piece where the oil filter and the other end of the lower radiator hose attaches to. The gasket runs about $10 . The labor to install it would depend on where you are located . After replacement you'll need to flush out the cooling system SEVERAL times to get rid of the engine oil that has contaminated the cooling system. Hope this helps. -
Comment 1
Mr. 427 Chevy,That sounds about right & thank you. I had my engine dude over yesterday to help me figure out what it could possible be. Together we thought it had to be in the line which runs from the remote oil filter to the head. He thought, like you, it had to be that gasket or a small hole in that line. I really appreciate your time & experience on this. Most just say head gasket & tell you it's going to coast a fortune. Keep up the quality work! -
Comment 2
IM HAVING THAT SAME PROBLEM RIGHT NOW. ITS LIKE SLUDGE COMING OUT OF THE OVERFLOW. I HAVE A 1998 FORD EXPEDITION 5.4L V8. IS THE LABOR CHEAP TO FIX AND IS THERE EASY ACCESS TO THE PROBLEM POINT AND HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO FIX. PLEAS HELP. -
Comment 3
Subject: Radiatior Fluid with Engine Oil Contamination Vehicle: 1997 Ford Expedition, 5.4L, 4x4, 198,000 miles Date: 12-21-10 I'm in the process, today, of determining the root cause for engine oil contamination in the radiator. In the past 3 months, this vehicle started using excessive amounts of oil without any performance issues. Some friends of mine have indicated a few things to check out. The 1st has to do with checking the engine oil cooler. This is an accessory generally found with vehicles having a trailer towing package. Your oil filter will be located under the left fender well in front of the tire. The oil supply and return lines will run from it back to the sandwich plates which comprise the oil cooler. This cooler is mated to the engine block at the standard/normal location for most oil filters on Ford vehicles. The cooler has radiator coolent lines also running to it. Just tonight, I drained the radiator (full of oil; so full, I bet I only had less than a pint of antifreeze, can't believe the Expedition was operational). It is not too difficult to access. I 1st removed the oil supply and return lines to the filter. Not to difficult, but, the bolts were very tight in the what appears to be an aluminum plate. To make a long story short. Tomorrow, I must purchase an allen style wrench (socket or actual allen tool) to remove the main bolt which holds the engine oil and radiator sandwich plates together. This tool is between a 1/2" and 9/16". When I have the radiator plate on the bench, plan to rig a test fixture to see if I can find a leak which allows engine oil to move into the radiator. Hope I fine a leak because this will make a simple fix. I don't want it to be a cracked head or an intake manifold problem as these issues will be more costly to fix. This Expedition runs so good at present time; does not miss a lick. -
Answer 2
Subject: Radiatior Fluid with Engine Oil Contamination Vehicle: 1997 Ford Expedition, 5.4L, 4x4, 198,000 miles Date: 12-21-10 I'm in the process, today, of determining the root cause for engine oil contamination in the radiator. In the past 3 months, this vehicle started using excessive amounts of oil without any performance issues. Some friends of mine have indicated a few things to check out. The 1st has to do with checking the engine oil cooler. This is an accessory generally found with vehicles having a trailer towing package. Your oil filter will be located under the left fender well in front of the tire. The oil supply and return lines will run from it back to the sandwich plates which comprise the oil cooler. This cooler is mated to the engine block at the standard/normal location for most oil filters on Ford vehicles. The cooler has radiator coolent lines also running to it. Just tonight, I drained the radiator (full of oil; so full, I bet I only had less than a pint of antifreeze, can't believe the Expedition was operational). It is not too difficult to access. I 1st removed the oil supply and return lines to the filter. Not to difficult, but, the bolts were very tight in the what appears to be an aluminum plate. To make a long story short. Tomorrow, I must purchase an allen style wrench (socket or actual allen tool) to remove the main bolt which holds the engine oil and radiator sandwich plates together. This tool is between a 1/2" and 9/16". When I have the radiator plate on the bench, plan to rig a test fixture to see if I can find a leak which allows engine oil to move into the radiator. Hope I fine a leak because this will make a simple fix. I don't want it to be a cracked head or an intake manifold problem as these issues will be more costly to fix. This Expedition runs so good at present time; does not miss a lick. -
Comment 1
I had the same problem. The mechanic suggested to disconnect the cooler (heat exchanger) and see if the water will return again to the radiator. It did not but I noticed after disconnecting this cooler major engine oil leakage. What would be the expected reasons. I had three visits to the mechanic but he could not solve the leakage problem. Thanks. -
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